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Students, faculty celebrate another successful Match Day

Lauren Ale gets a hug from her husband, Nathan Hull, after learning she will do her family medicine residency at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte. Photo by Cliff Hollis.
GREENVILLE, N.C.   (Mar. 20, 2003)   —   March 20 was a day of celebration at the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University: the annual rite-of-passage for medical students known as Match Day. The future physicians learned their assignments for post-medical school residency training during the noon ceremony, as did their counterparts across the country.

Dr. Peter J. Kragel, interim dean of the medical school, welcomed the class along with their spouses, family members and friends.

"Match Day strikes home that our students will be real physicians soon and put on a long white coat and put away their short white coat," he said to a round of applause and cheers from the class.

Of the 60 students participating in the match, 56 percent chose primary care medicine. Primary care encompasses family medicine, internal medicine, medicine/pediatrics and pediatrics. That number rises to 65 percent when obstetrics/gynecology is added. Kragel described those percentages as "outstanding."

Kragel said he was pleased that the core primary care percentage was up from 46 percent last year.

"Congratulation to the Department of Family Medicine which demonstrated an almost doubling of the number of students entering family medicine," he said. This year, 16 students chose family medicine, compared to nine last year.

"It is very gratifying for a school with a primary care mission to show these numbers, especially when there's a national trend for students to go into more specialty areas," Kragel said. "But in eastern North Carolina, there is a need for primary care practitioners. Despite the national trends, we continue to meet this need.

"It shows what a great job that our faculty in family medicine and primary care areas do in getting students interested in primary care," he said.

The National Residency Matching Program is a private, not-for-profit organization that provides a fair and orderly method of matching applicants for residency positions in the United States with residency programs at various teaching hospitals. Applicants and hospitals rank each other in order of preference and a computer matches them based upon those rankings.

Thirty-seven students are staying in North Carolina, with 16 of those doing their training at Pitt County Memorial Hospital.

One of the students choosing a North Carolina residency program was Christina Bowen of Greenville. She received her top choice, Duke University, for her obstetrics and gynecology residency. Her joy and enthusiasm overflowed as she hugged her friends and parents, Bill and Trudy Bowen.

"We're very proud and happy for her. She’s worked hard for this," her mother said.

Joining Bowen at Duke will be Jason Goebel and Ginja Massey, who gave each other a big hug when they found out they were both going to Duke for their residencies.

"It's my first choice," said Goebel, headed for an internal medicine residency. "I'm happy as can be. I was just keeping my fingers crossed and saying a lot of prayers."

Massey was equally excited about her match. "I did a lot of praying and I got it," she said.

Also receiving his top choice was Jose Ramirez-del Toro who will be entering an internal medicine residency this summer at Mercy Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pa.

"I'm just so extremely excited. I'm happy for all my classmates," he said. "I tried to play it down in my mind, but now that it’s happened I'm so happy."

Dr. Julius Mallette, senior associate dean, said it was nice to have good news on a day when America is beginning its war with Iraq. "It's always an exciting day for the students, and they are so enthusiastic" he said. "This comes at a time when we need some good news."

Lauren Ale's eyes teared as she read in her letter that she was going to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for her family medicine residency.



Contact: Jeannine Manning Hutson | 252-744-2481